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Pretender
Reza Pahlavi
رضا پهلوی
Gasdfas.jpg
Born October 31, 1960 (1960-10-31) (age 49)
Title(s) His Imperial Highness
Crown Prince
Prince
Throne(s) claimed Iran
Pretend from July 20, 1980 - Present
Monarchy abolished 1979
Last monarch Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Connection with Son
Royal House House of Pahlavi
Father Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Mother Farah Diba
Spouse Yasmine Amini

HIH Prince Cyrus Reza Pahlavi (Persian: رضا پهلوی, born October 31, 1960) is the former Crown Prince of Iran and the eldest son of the late Emperor of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and his Shahbanou Farah. He was the Crown Prince of Iran until the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Since then he has been living in exile and has been a leading and vocal advocate of the principles of freedom, democracy and human rights for Iran. He is also the Co-Founder of The Foundation for the Children of Iran.

Contents

Biography

In 1978, Reza Pahlavi left Iran and moved to the United States to complete his higher education.[1] He was trained as a jet fighter pilot at the Reese Air Force Base in Lubbock, Texas, and attended Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, before graduating with a degree in political science from the University of Southern California. He has not returned to Iran since the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

After the revolution, Reza Pahlavi lived in exile in Morocco and Egypt until 1984, when he settled in the United States.

In 2004, Reza Pahlavi was named as the "unofficial godfather"[2] of Princess Louise of Belgium the eighth granddaughter of King Albert II of Belgium. The decision to choose him was criticized by the Foreign Ministry of the Islamic Republic.[3]

Family

He married Yasmine Etemad Amini on June 12, 1986 and currently lives in Potomac, Maryland, with their three daughters: Noor (born April 3, 1992), Iman (born September 12, 1993), and Farah (born January 17, 2004).

Pahlavi's siblings include Farahnaz Pahlavi (March 12, 1963), a brother Ali-Reza Pahlavi (April 28, 1966), as well as a half-sister, Shahnaz Pahlavi (October 27, 1940). His youngest sister, Leila, died of a drug overdose on June 10, 2001.

Monarchy

The Iranian monarchy was overthrown after the revolution of 1979 and replaced by an Islamic republic. Although the most prominent royals now live in exile, some Iranians still regard Pahlavi as the current Shah of Iran. After the death of his father, Mohammad Reza Shah, Pahlavi symbolically declared himself Shāhanshāh (Persian for Shah, meaning King of Kings) at the age of 21, but now his press releases refer to him as either "Reza Pahlavi" or "the former Crown Prince".

Offer to fight during the Iran–Iraq War

In 1980, at the start of the Iran–Iraq War, Pahlavi, a fighter pilot, wrote to General Valiollah Fallahi, Chief Commander of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic, offering to fight in the air force for Iran in the war. The offer was rebuffed.[4]

Iranian Imperial Family
Coat of Arms of Pahlavi dynasty and Iran.jpg

Politics

Reza Pahlavi has used his high profile status as an Iranian abroad to campaign politically for human rights, democracy, and unity among Iranians in Iran and outside it. On his website he calls for a separation of religion and state in Iran and for free and fair elections "for all freedom-loving individuals and political ideologies". He exhorts all groups dedicated to a democratic agenda to work together for a democratic and secular Iranian government. Pahlavi has used media appearances to urge Iran's theocratic government to accept a referendum that used independently verifiable international standards and observation mechanisms.[5][6][7] He has also urged Iranians to engage in a campaign of non-violent civil disobedience, starting with non-participation in elections of the Islamic republic (elections he views as "undemocratic"), followed by peaceful demonstrations and strikes. He is, however, an outspoken opponent of any foreign military intervention for regime change in Iran,[8] believing that the people of Iran alone have the power to bring about change in their governmental system and society.

Human rights

On August 5, 2005, Pahlavi wrote to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, to criticize the decision "not to call for a Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran during the last meeting of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights."[9] In the letter, he wrote:

Many if not all the political prisoners in Iran are brutalized and held in solitary confinement in spite of the numerous specific recommendations of the United Nations to stop and put an end to such inhuman practices. Unfortunately the Islamic Republic of Iran has so far ignored these recommendations as well as all the urgent appeals made by international human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Despite the threats, human rights activists in Iran continue to fight for their freedom and human rights at the risk of imprisonment, torture, disappearance and death. I salute their courage and dedication.

Quotes

  • Idealism and realism, behavior change and regime change do not require different policies but the same: empowering the Iranian people.[10]

Honors

Personal CoA on the Imperial Standard of the Crown Prince
Imperial Standard of the Iranian Shah

Publications

  • Reza Pahlavi, Winds of Change: The Future of Democracy in Iran, Regnery Publishing Inc., 2002, ISBN 0-89526-191-X.
  • Reza Pahlavi, Gozashteh va Ayandeh, London: Kayham Publishing, 2000.[14]

Further reading

  • Ahmad Ali Massoud Ansari, Me and the Pahlavis, 1992.

See also

Footnotes

External links

Reza Pahlavi
Born: 31 October 1960
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Mohammad Rez̤ā Pahlavī
— TITULAR —
Shah of Iran
27 July 1980 – present
Reason for succession failure:
Monarchy abolished in 1979
Incumbent
Heir:
Prince Ali-Rez̤ā Pahlavī II
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